The Two Towers of Lisbon

Three Times for Rene

This location marks the third time Rene has fallen into the water with his camera. The first is when he was trying to impress a girl and stepped on a sea urchin. The second is when he was with me in Venice and fell in a canal. This is the third, during a long exposure when a wave came up and started taking his tripod out to sea and he made a sliding skid into the ocean to save it. A great laugh was had by all!

Daily Photo – The Two Towers of Lisbon

This is the famous Torre de Belém along the edge of Lisbon. It's an old tower dating back about 500 years. Just out front is a little model of the same place, so I thought it might be fun to do a little artsy photo of the model with the real thing in the background. It's a little obvious of a shot, I know, but still kinda fun.

The Two Towers of Lisbon

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-20 20:38:51
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Curtis Exploring Sintra

Going to Portugual? Three places to visit!

If you’re looking to get to Europe but save some money, why not go to Portugal? It’s quite inexpensive and you can easily spend over a week in three places: Lisbon, Sintra, and Porto. Each one is worthy of three days of exploration, and you’ll have some of the best food of your life there! 🙂

Daily Photo – Curtis Exploring Sintra

Every day we made a new trek out into the wild to see what we could find around the Sintra area. It's quite a vast area and quite mountainous. Well, maybe mountains aren't the right word. If there was a word between hill and mountain, that would be more accurate. Anyway, at the top of each of them seemed to be another ruin. Or maybe ruin isn't the right word, because they are not as “ruined” as Roman ruins or others… just sort of abandoned. But, as you can see here, the paint colors and tiles are still very nice even though no one is around. That's Curtis there near the window taking a photo – I thought it looked a bit better with him in it.

Curtis Exploring Sintra

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-19 07:00:14
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Carting Home in Sintra, Portugal

Staying at a golf resort

Or, if you’re staying at any resort that has a golf course, try securing a golf cart the night before and have it ready for a morning photo shoot. A lot of people in the club house are confused by this request. I usually just take in my iPad, show the golf pro my portfolio, and say I’ll be glad to share all the photos I get back with them. 95% of the time, they say yes! 🙂

Daily Photo – Carting Home in Sintra, Portugal

It was one of those perfectly still mornings with no breeze on the golf course here in Penha Longa, Portugal. Since these still mornings can be kind of rare, I tried to visit as many little lakes and ponds as possible. One great thing about golf courses, is most of them have a bunch of these ponds; sometimes a lot more, depending on its location. So, having a golf cart is handy because you can just whizz around from one pond to the next taking photos until the breeze picks up (or until you get hit by a golf ball).

Carting Home in Sintra, Portugal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-16 08:03:27
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

In the streets of Sintra, Portugal

Phillip’s VLog

Here’s a fun video from one of my new friends I met on the European photo walks! Hi Phillip! 🙂

Portugal Travel Tip

If you’re on a limited budget, be sure to check out Portugal! It’s quite inexpensive and extremely beautiful. There are so many places to go see here. The country is much bigger than it looks on a map. I think people think of it as tiny because it looks smallish on the map, with Spain just dominating most of the peninsula. But when you’re on the ground, driving around, etc, you realize how big it is and how much there is to explore.

Daily Photo – In the streets of Sintra, Portugal

What a cool little town this was. We only spent one morning here after visiting the palace, but we had some crazy desserts. I never feel as bad about myself as when I start eating dessert at 10 AM. But hey, it's Europe, and I figure a lot of that sort of stuff happens all the time here.

In the streets of Sintra, Portugal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-17 09:45:46
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Aquaduct at Penha Longa

A little confusion

Today’s photo is a good example of using the quadcopter to make things a bit confusing. Maybe on the photo walks you’ve heard me talk about this idea… purposefully confusing people with your photos!

Daily Photo – Aquaduct at Penha Longa

I'm always a sucker for an aqueduct. I think they're just the coolest things in the world. I would have loved to see this back in the day when it was in full operation. I can't imagine the amount of time it took to build and then simply maintain. Some of these aqueducts go through extremely remote places. There must have been maintenance men that would just wander through the countryside to look for problems. It just seems like problems would be everywhere. I think about this a lot and I don't know why.

Aquaduct at Penha Longa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-16 20:02:19
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

4 Tips for Taking Surprising Mobile Photos

It doesn’t matter if you use an iPhone or an Android there are a few things you can do to get your mobile photography to the next level. All of the photos included with the tips were taken with my Google Pixel phone. I normally shoot with a big Hasselblad camera, but sometimes all I have with me is my phone. I’ve come up with some great tricks to make them look as surprising and incredible as possible.

1) Don’t hit that big circle on the screen to take the photo. Use the Vol Up button on the side! One, when you jab the screen with your finger, you’re causing camera-shake and it will make your photo more blurry. Two, using the volume up button allows you to hold the camera much more steady with one or two hands.

Image 1

This was taken an underground Turkish bath in Budapest, Hungary. This is Olya, my crazy Russian videographer, who traveled through Europe with us to make some inspirational and tutorial videos.

2) Experiment with the mobile app Snapseed! It’s free and available for Android and iOS. This is, by far, the best app for editing your photos on your phone. There are many tools in there and many different filters. One great thing about Snapseed is you can layer many different filters together to really give your photo a unique look. People will wonder how you did it!

Image 2

Here’s a fun family photo from a few months ago when we rode camels near the pyramids in Egypt. I used Snapseed filters to give it this “look.”

3) Take some cheeky street photos. If you’re like me, as you walk around the streets, you often see interesting people, crazy outfits, or just kooky things you find interesting. It can sometimes be embarrassing to blatantly aim your phone at these things, so get used to using the Volume Up button to take the photos. On the Pixel phone, for example, I can turn on the camera by double-clicking the power button. Then I move my finger to volume-up to take the photo. Your horizon will probably be off, but you can fix that later.

Image 3

Here’s a cheeky street photo I took in Budapest, Hungary. This is my assistant Tane. He’s not posing; this is literally how he looks all the time.

4) Try combining your phone with an iPad or tablet to edit your photos to the next level. Professional photographers know that a photo reads differently on a larger screen. Next time you’re at a coffee shop, why not zap your photo over to your tablet (via Google Photos or Airdrop), then use Snapseed to edit it there. A good photo always looks better bigger on a tablet, so don’t feel like you’re forced to use that tiny little screen.

Image 4

This a photo I took in Aruba. I was jogging on the beach, and of course I had my mobile phone with me. I was able to cover a lot of ground quickly, and there’s no way I would go on a jog and carry a Hasselblad! But it’s nice to always have the phone with me and take a ton of photos, picking out the best after I sit down to relax.

Image 5

Near my home on the south island of New Zealand, there is this amazing place to watch the sunset called Lake Hayes. I forgot my big Hasselblad camera, so all I had was my phone. There’s a saying that the Best Camera is the one you have with you!

Image 6

Here’s a panorama of three different photos I took while on a walk here near my home in New Zealand. Since I have an Android, I use Google photos. One great thing about Google Photos is there’s a little AI assistant that will “gift” you a panorama if it senses you took a lot of photos close together.

Approaching the Palace

We’re back again to the Pena Palace!

Let’s take a little walk down two-week memory lane! Here’s another picture of this same place from another hilltop forest.

Day 3 - Portugal - Disneycastle (53 of 61)

Daily Photo – Approaching the Palace

I don't think it's too hard to request special access to this palace so you can be in there alone. We had a whole hour to run around in the morning. You just can't take a bad photo in this place. It's so colorful and decadent… I can't even imagine living here

Approaching the Palace

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-17 08:29:47
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture22
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Guess what they are selling in this store in Lisbon?

Sensitive Horizon Controls

Man, I do love that Hasselblad X1D (today’s photos is one of my favorites with it), but one thing that is a bit strange is the electronic horizon. When I take a photo like this, of course I try to use it to make sure everything is level. I can’t tell if it’s tooooo sensitive or if my hands are too unsteady. I don’t think the latter because I’m using the tripod. Even the slightest movement seems to send it over the edge.

It would be cool of there was some kind of way for the camera to auto-horizon itself. I have no idea how that would work… but it’s a cool idea.

Daily Photo – Guess what they are selling in this store in Lisbon?

Chocolates? No, definitely not. Candy? Not even close. Flavored condoms? No, but that's a strange guess you made. They're actually selling sardines! It's like the most beautiful sardine store in the world. It's worth a zoom-in on Smugmug to see all the details. Each column is a different year. The gimmick is you go buy the sardines with your birth year on it. It gives you “fun facts” about your birthday on the back of the sardine can. Stuff depressing stuff like, “same year that Pope was shot” or things that are hard to prove like, “same year as beavers were discovered.”

Guess what they are selling in this store in Lisbon?

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-22 21:24:03
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Harry Potter Bookstore in Porto

Hot Tip for this spot

Now in this legendary bookstore below, they don’t let you use tripods. This was a real buzzkill for me, so I tried my best with handheld (but not bad, eh?) – anyway after I was there I got a hot tip from a friend. If you get here in the morning, an hour before opening, the cleaning crew will let you in with a tripod so you can take your time and get the shot you want!

Daily Photo – The Harry Potter Bookstore in Porto

My friend Cliff from Google tipped me off on this place. He sent me his own photo and I go, “I gotta get in there!” Even though it's a real bookstore, you actually have to buy a ticket around the corner to get inside. I thought that was a bit strange, but they do subtract the cost of your ticket if you buy a book, so that's pretty cool.

This is a vertirama made from two handheld photos.

The Harry Potter Bookstore in Porto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-25 18:42:10
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Pena National Palace in Sintra, Portugal

Textures!

You may notice today’s photo has a fun series of textures on it. I do this a lot whenever the sky is a bit dull or I just want to give it a nice effect. Be sure to go Grab my textures and texture tutorial from the store if you want to try it too.

Daily Photo – Pena National Palace in Sintra, Portugal

This is probably the most beautiful castle/palace thing I've ever visited in my life. I think it's officially called a palace, but I think of it more like a Disney castle. The colors are all real that you see here! (Well, I added some texture in the sky for fun, but the colors are all true-to-life). It's set in the middle of a sprawling 200-acre forest park. There are paths all over the place, but it's actually quite hard to find a place to take a photo like this. You definitely can't get this view from any of the standard lookout spots. It takes just a little bit of rock-climbing and clambering around to get this view.

Pena National Palace in Sintra, Portugal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-17 07:48:01
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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